Mamelodi Sundowns

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena confirms Bafana Bafana stars such as Khuliso Mudau will miss the match versus Orlando Pirates. Image: (@OrlandoPirates/Twitter)

Sundowns vs Pirates: Key team news, predicted XIs and the latest gossip

It’s a big day for one Thembinkosi Lorch.

Mamelodi Sundowns

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena confirms Bafana Bafana stars such as Khuliso Mudau will miss the match versus Orlando Pirates. Image: (@OrlandoPirates/Twitter)

Mamelodi Sundowns face Orlando Pirates in this weekend’s standout PSL fixture fixture. Will Thembinkosi Lorch come back to haunt his old club?

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Williams; Mudau, De Reuck, Kekana, Modiba; Mokoena; Esquivel, Lorch; Matthews, Ribeiro Costa, Shalulile.

It’s anybody’s guess how Rulani Mokwena might line his side up, such is the wealth of talent at his disposal. It will, of course, be tempting to hand Thembinkosi Lorch a start against the club he left a few weeks ago. The Brazilians’ last league appointment was back on December 30th in a 0-0 draw with Polokwane City. They followed that with an experimental lineup in another goalless stalemate with Cape Town City.

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Sundowns Kaizer Chiefs Pitso Mosimane
Sundowns fans loving life. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix


Buthelezi; Monyane, Ndah, Sibisi, Hotto; Timm, Monare; Kimvuidi, Ndlondlo, Maswanganyi; Makgopa.

It’s been a while since the Buccaneers were last in action, their 2-3 defeat against Stellenbosch on 29 December.

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Bandile Shandu, Thabiso Lebitso, Olisa Ndah and Thabang Monare are all one yellow card away from suspension. Should any of them collect a caution against Sundowns, they’d miss the following match in the Nedbank Cup Round of 32 on February 24th. The Buccaneers’ opponents for that clash are still to be determined.

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Orlando Pirates
Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro on why striker Evidence Makgopa is good for Bafana Bafana. Image source: (VodacomSoccer/Twitter)


Sundowns and Pirates do battle on Saturday 17 February at 20:00 at Loftus and the possibility of Thembinkosi Lorch facing his old club is an obvious subplot. Lorch swapped Pirates for Sundowns three weeks ago. Speaking on Radio 2000, Downs coach Rulani Mokwena wasn’t giving much away on the topic.

“He’s (Lorch) training with the team like all the other players and he’s looking okay and there is still a lot of work to be done from a physical perspective,” he said.

“His performances will speak for themselves and he knows that. He’s got the responsibility like a lot of players and at Sundowns meritocracy is very important. Lorch has to work hard like everyone else to earn his place in the team and merit a start.”

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Thembinkosi Lorch
Thembinkosi Lorch makes a good first impression at Mamelodi Sundowns. Image: Mamelodi Sundowns Magazine

Meanwhile, hit up James Freemantle for more insights, analysis and love for the beautiful game.

Also, follow The South African on X for up-to-the-minute news updates.